The Hyundai Genesis: it’s hard to know where to start. The luxury sedan from South Korea was benchmarked against BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus and Jaguar. In Australia it even competes with top end Australian models from Holden and Ford, as well as the Chrysler 300 from the US.
Hyundai’s flagship delivers eye-watering high levels of automotive technology and refinement at astonishingly low prices.
The first-generation left-hand-drive only BH Genesis set the standard with rave reviews and major awards, including the 2009 North American Car of the Year, now the all-new second-generation DH model eclipses this in many ways.
The unfortunately tagged ‘DH’ underwent high-speed and durability testing on the famed Nordschleife Nurburgring, in Germany, and at Yeongam Circuit, Korea. It also did some extreme hot-weather testing in Death Valley in the USA and cold-weather testing on Sweden’s Argeplog Lake.
That wasn’t the end, our local engineers oversaw final durability testing in Eastern and Central Australia.
The basic Genesis is bursting at the seams with innovative high-tech kit, some of which is an expensive addition in European rivals, and others not at all, yet it comes to Australia market for a mere $60,000.
This can be topped up with more features from two packs, Sensory and Ultimate, for $71,000 and $82,000 respectively. Hyundai took the middle ground with our road test vehicle, the Genesis Sensory Pack.
Genesis has a one-piece hexagonal grille, HID headlights, LED indicators and daytime running lights, a sweeping line along its flanks, aerodynamic boot lid, and ‘jewelled’ LED tail-lights.
At 4990mm, the Genesis is 91 mm longer than a BMW 5 Series and 43 mm longer than a Holden Commodore. A width of 1890 mm is 30 mm wider than a 5 Series and only 8 mm narrower than a Commodore.
Genesis, with its Sonata stablemate, last year earned Good Design Awards for quality design, function and aesthetics from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The wheelbase of 3010 mm is not only longer than that of a BMW 5 Series but also 1 mm longer than the wheelbase of a Holden Caprice and translates to a generous amount of space for occupants.
It’s a premium look all round with widespread use of soft-touch materials, timber-style trim surrounds and real aluminium detail, while double-stitched, perforated leather-appointed front seats offer 12-way adjustment for the driver.
The test vehicle’s Sensory Pack has an extendable seat-cushion for under-thigh support, bolster adjustment and four-way lumbar-support adjustability.
Attention to detail is characterised by a new dash top designed to decrease reflections in the windscreen. The stylish centre console features a square clock that’s synchronised via satellite.
An impressive 9.2-inch wide-view touchscreen is centrally located on the dash. It gives offers access to satellite navigation incorporating Here maps, Suna live traffic updates, and a comprehensive Point of Interest database.
Also included is Here MapCare, where up to three years free mapping updates are provided when the vehicle is serviced at a participating Hyundai dealer.
The touchscreen also acts as a display for the Genesis around-view monitor, providing a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the vehicle.
In amazing attention to detail, he Grammy Lexicon sound system utilises 17 speakers uses an algorithm programmed to the car’s interior contours and trim materials.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
Genesis sedans are powered by Hyundai’s 3.8-litre V6 engine, driving the rear wheels through an in-house eight-speed automatic transmission.
The motor produces 232 kW maximum power at 6000 rpm and 397 Nm maximum torque at 5000 rpm, with 90 per cent of the latter available between 2000rpm and 6000rpm.
The Lambda II uses Gasoline Direct Injection, triangular-pattern fuel injectors, Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, three-stage variable induction, all-aluminium block and heads, steel timing chain and iridium-tipped spark plugs.
Hyundai Genesis was awarded the highest ever ANCAP score achieved in local crash testing. Passive safety equipment includes nine airbags, pre-tensioner seatbelts and anti-whiplash head restraints.
Active safety features are smart cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot detection, lane change assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and smart high beam.
There has been great attention given to in-cabin noise, vibration and harshness suppression with extensive use of sound-deadening measures.
On the other hand, Hyundai engineers worked to enhance agreeable sounds. Under acceleration, for example, dynamic engine sound improvements were achieved through intake and exhaust system tuning. No artificial sound generation techniques are used.
The 3.8-litre high-tech V6 engine has impressive performance off the mark (zero-to-100 km/h acceleration is a claimed 6.5 seconds).
Combined fuel consumption is listed as 11.2 litres per 100 kilometres. However, the V6 motor gulped 14 to 16 litres per 100 kilometres in the city. That was balanced by seven to nine litres on the open road.
Exclusive to the Genesis, the Hyundai-developed eight-speed automatic has beautifully smooth gear shifts. The switch to Shiftronic manual with steering-wheel-mounted paddles, provided a certain degree of satisfaction when not shackled by local driving restrictions.
Asked to describe the typical Genesis buyer, a Hyundai executive told me about a Mercedes-Benz high-end S-Class owner who wanted a car for everyday use and was perfectly happy with the Genesis he bought. The question is not how the car can match the best in the business but how it can be done for a fraction of the price.
AT A GLANCE
Genesis 3.8L GDi V6 8sp automatic: $60,000
Genesis 3.8L GDi V6 8sp automatic: Sensory Pack $71,000
Genesis 3.8L GDi V6 8sp automatic: Ultimate Pack $82,000
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.
Autonomous Emergency Braking
Smart Cruise Control
Smart High Beam
Lane Departure Warning
Anti-Lock Braking System, incorporating Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist
Vehicle Stability Management with Electronic Stability Control & Traction Control
Emergency Stop Signal
High Intensity Discharge headlights with washer system and auto-levelling
Static Bending Lights
LED Daytime Running Lamps
Rear-view camera with parking guide
Parking Assist System with guidance
Leather Appointed interior
9.2-inch Satellite Navigation
Lexicon 17-speaker premium audio
Proximity Smart Key with push-button start
Dual-zone climate control with auto defog function
12-way Power driver and front passenger seat
Heated front seats
Electronic Park Brake
18-inch alloy wheels & 245/45 R18 Hankook tyres
Smart Boot function (hands-free power-open function)
Rear power blind
4.2-inch LCD Supervision cluster
Electro-Chromatic Mirror with auto-dimming interior mirror
Electric folding side mirrors
Puddle lights (Genesis logo illumination) in side mirrors with courtesy lights in door handles
One-touch window up and down function on all windows incorporating anti-pinching safety feature
Interior mood lights
One-touch turn signal
Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts
Solar control glass
Dual-zone climate control with auto defog function
Blind Spot Detection
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Lane Change Assist
Premium Leather appointed interior
Power Bolster and extendable base (driver’s seat)
Driver’s seat memory system
Power tilt & telescopic steering
Electro-chromatic auto-dipping exterior mirrors
Carbon dioxide sensor
LED front foglights
(3.8-litre V6 Gasoline Direct Injection petrol engine)
Capacity: 3630 cc
Configuration: V6 DOHC 24-valves
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Maximum Power: 232 kW @ 6000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 397 Nm @ 5000 rpm
Drivetrain: Hyundai eight-speed automatic transmission with enhanced shift logic with Shiftronic manual mode, rear-wheel drive
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4990 mm
Width: 1890 mm
Wheelbase: 3010 mm
Co-efficient of drag: 0.26 Cd
Seating capacity: 5
SUSPENSION AND BRAKES:
Suspension: Multilink (front, rear)
Brakes: Ventilated discs. Anti-Lock Braking System, incorporating Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist. Vehicle Stability Management with Electronic Stability Control & Traction Control. Hill-start Assist. Emergency Stop Signal
Steering: Electric power assisted, speed sensitive rack and pinion
Wheels / tyres: Alloy 18in / 245/45 R18.
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 6.5 sec
Top speed: N/A
Fuel type: 91 RON unleaded
Combined Cycle (ADR 81/01): 11.2 litres per 100 km. CO2 emissions 261 g / km
GREEN VEHICLE GUIDE RATINGS:
Greenhouse Rating: 4.5 / 10
Air Pollution Rating: 7.5 / 10
5 years / 75,000 kilometres